The New York Times best-selling author of Better and Complications reveals the surprising power of the ordinary checklist.
We live in a world of great and increasing complexity, where even the most expert professionals struggle to master the tasks they face. Longer training, ever more advanced technologies - neither seems to prevent grievous errors. But in a hopeful turn, acclaimed surgeon and writer Atul Gawande finds a remedy in the humblest and simplest of techniques: the checklist. First introduced decades ago by the U.S. Air Force, checklists have enabled pilots to fly aircraft of mind-boggling sophistication. Now innovative checklists are being adopted in hospitals around the world, helping doctors and nurses respond to everything from flu epidemics to avalanches. Even in the immensely complex world of surgery, a simple 90-second variant has cut the rate of fatalities by more than a third.
In riveting stories, Gawande takes us from Austria, where an emergency checklist saved a drowning victim who had spent half an hour underwater, to Michigan, where a cleanliness checklist in intensive care units virtually eliminated a type of deadly hospital infection. He explains how checklists actually work to prompt striking and immediate improvements. And he follows the checklist revolution into fields well beyond medicine, from disaster response to investment banking, skyscraper construction, and businesses of all kinds.
An intellectual adventure in which lives are lost and saved and one simple idea makes a tremendous difference, The Checklist Manifesto is essential for anyone working to get things right.
©2009 Atul Gawande; (P)2009 Macmillan Audio
A good look into how to utilize checklists in everyday life. Something that can benefit everyone.
The medical examples were an eye opener. I also liked the cross reference to the aviation industry.
Yes, definitely. There is so much rich material in this, so much that is quotable, when talking to old school health professionals who think that health care is simply about their being an expert. Even experts are humans.
The way aviation example are so delicately tied to medical examples.
Hmm. Some of the terminology was spelt out where it could have been said as a word, eg ECMO is not pronounced E.C.M.O. in healthcare, just ecmo.
The background story behind the world's most life saving surgical innovation.
Any surgeon who reads this book and is not converted should be... well... fired.
Excellent treatise by Atul Gawande. Giving 5/5 since this seems like a fundamental step modern society needs to take. Narrator was fine. Makes a very solid case for why and how to implement checklists. If you have a job or a duty you care about that involves money or lives and you don't have checklists then you need to read/listen to this and get started.
Favorite part was the survey of doctors and hospital staff for whom 20% said a surgery checklist was not helpful and a waste of time. However, when the same staff was asked if they wanted another surgeon to use the checklist, 94% of them said they wanted *that* surgeon to use the checklist!
Not sure - did an adequate job, would definitely listen to other narrations by John Lloyd
Concise explanation of checklist beginning, development and use in aviation, medicine, construction and others. Case studies and evidence provided make it a good audio book.
The proof that the USAirways commercial flight that landed in the Hudson river was successful because of the use of checklists that were followed in this life threatening emergency and not totally reliant on human instinct.
The life saving actions performed by Dr. Gawande and his surgucal team to save his patient at the end of the book. If I ever need surgery I want to know that my surgeon is a user of checklists.
Western medicine is in a very difficult position right now. Patients are often treated like a collection of symptons rather that a total person. Doctors are called on to perform to high standards of efficiency rather than of compassion and competence. Atul Gawande has thought a great deal about this problem and formulated a solution to deal with these problems ...or at least some of them. He borrows from other disciplines to come up with a basic routine that should work in hospitals around the world. It's certainly worth a second read.
Gawande describes how various professions deal with problems similar to some of those in the modern operating room. He offers anecdotes about each profession and then tells us how those solutions were adapted to eight very different hospitals in diverse parts of the world...and he is not above telling us stories of his own failures and challenges to illustrate his point.
Since this is a work of non-fiction, I think it would not be considered for a film. For a film about the challenges of surgery, one might consider
I like Gawande a lot. He has written lots of articles for The New Yorker on similar subjects. When anyone currently involved in the practice of medicine is willing to admit that the system has been run off the rails and is willing to apply his intelligence to constructive solutions rather than just ranting...it's worth our attention. Besides, he's fun and easy to read.
I trained as an academic and have evolved into a management role. Not a linear path. Like many of us in this position I seek ideas that will help me manage my unit in a way that in is line with our mission and capability. This books was very helpful in thinking about ways to improve communication and accountability among my direct reports as well as remind me how to structure a task that will lead to productive outcomes.
This is a great book to remind us that we are not computers that can perfectly recall everything we need to remember when we need to remember it. If pilots, astronauts, and surgeons use checklists it seems reasonable that the rest of us should too.
I love this man's writings. His ideas are well thought out, thoroughly researched and clearly presented. In many other medical publications, there are faulty analogies/comparisons between various industries and the medical field - not so with his books! All his comparisons and parallels between different industries and methodologies are very thought provoking and applicable. He presents some of the best practices from different industries and describes how they can be applicable in the field of medicine. He also tests some of his findings and discusses the results. This book would also be an excellent book for anyone who is trying to learn about the ‘scientific method’ and unbiased research. Best of all, this doctor is NOT focused on trying to ‘sell’ his audience on an idea, but instead focuses on using his book as a vehicle to promote a much needed discussion amongst medical professionals and the general public.
The book was good but got very redundant. The book is more of an argument for the use of checklist than suggestion on how to incorporate them. The majority of the book is focused around the use of checklist in medical settings.
Marty Jacobs consults in the areas of strategic planning, board governance, leadership development, and community engagement.
Although this book has a decidedly medical perspective (the author is a renowned surgeon, after all), the concepts in the book can be applied to many situations, not just medical ones. Dr. Gawande begins by describing three levels of complexity: simple, complicated, and complex. He then proceeds to outline the checklist manifesto as it applies to complex problems, those in which expertise is valuable but not sufficient for success and outcomes are often uncertain. In any complex situation, one needs to ask the following two questions: 1) Do I have the right knowledge? and 2) Am I applying it correctly? Dr. Gawande’s basic premise is that with complex problems, the power of decision-making must be given to those people who have the appropriate levels of experience and expertise. Moreover, those decision makers must talk to one another and take responsibility for the decision. Complexity no longer allows us to centralize power in any one person.
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